Learning and Leaving

The other day I was listening to a speaker discuss manufacturing jobs in the the U.S.  The speaker hit on a reason why there are fewer and fewer people with the job skills needed for the manufacturing shop floor.  The reason was employer paid training is being cut.

Manufacturing has a lot of technical based jobs.  People need to run equipment and know about machinery in most industries today.   In order to get training and stay up-to-date on the latest technical training, the employers pay for people to go to training.

In the past, this wasn’t an issue.  Employers were happy to pay for the training.  They expected people to be with the company for a very long time, so it was an investment in the employee.  Today, the expectation that a person will stick with a company for a long time isn’t accurate.  I think of myself.  The automotive company I worked for paid for me to get a lot of training on problem solving skills and techniques and some in lean, but as soon as my growth potential topped out I left the company.  That was within a year of completing my training.  The plant manager was upset but he was the one that told me my growth opportunities were topped out.  What did he expect?  I was 29 at the time.

What makes manufacturing unique is the fact that employers do pay for the training.  In healthcare, legal, or IT the individual pays for their training on their own time.  So the individual has more responsibility to not waste that training by using it wherever it fits best.

I know technology is changing fast and keeping up with it can be hard.  This doesn’t mean it can’t be done.  And the ones that do keep up with be rewarded with better paying jobs and more opportunities.

Would manufacturing skills be more plentiful today if the individuals had to keep up with it on their one?  I don’t know.  I’m not saying that is the right answer, but it is something to think about.

What are you thoughts?  How can manufacturing skills of individuals keep up with changing technology and employer and employees feel good about the training that was done without the fear of an employee leaving once they have developed their skills?

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Posted on September 23, 2011, in Development, Learning, Manufacturing, People and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Employers are always happy to recruit someone that another company has trained, then they whine about training someone who moves to a different employer.

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